Motion Math: Wings

App review by
Cynthia Chiong, Common Sense Media
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Good approach to multiplication concepts, but a bit glitchy.

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The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can learn basic math concepts from Motion Math: Wings. Quantity comparison is a core building block in math. As the levels get harder, kids will advance from basic group comparisons to mental multiplication and estimation. Motion Math: Wings presents the quantities in six different forms that can show kids strategies such as grouping. Although more feedback and explanation could be given, the different visuals support the learning and are useful, especially when it comes to the larger quantities. While kids steer their bird, trying to get as high as they can, they can practice math and pick up some strategies along the way.

Ease of Play

An initial tutorial teaches players how to tilt the device to steer. The motion is easy to master, and the bird moves at a pace that it does not feel rushed. Players cannot control the speed of the bird, but there is a feature to get more time between problems. While gameplay itself is easy to master, navigating the menu pages is not intuitive and can be confusing, and the reward system is unclear. It's also difficult to track progress -- the levels and islands are not numbered so kids can't easily see what they've completed. And, perhaps most frustratingly, the app didn't always save our progress, so after completing several islands we had to return to the beginning of a level.

Violence & Scariness

When your bird flies into an incorrect answer, it bounces back, but is unhurt.

Sexy Stuff

Motion Math: Wings comes with a couple of free levels, but to get the 10 levels covering the spectrum of difficulty, you have to buy them as an in-app purchase.  Prices range from $2.99 to $7.99, with $7.99 unlocking all the levels. The purchases also unlock extras such as more feather colors.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Motion Math: Wings is an app designed to help kids build multiplication skills. Kids tilt the device to steer a bird toward the larger quantity. Incorrect answers act as obstacles that bounce the bird back. The types of quantities that are presented get harder and harder, so this game is fit for younger kids just learning to compare amounts all the way to older kids learning multiplication. The free levels cover a range of difficulty, but there's not a lot of them, so parents may want to purchase the additional levels. Players can share high scores via the Game Center social network, but participation is optional.

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What's it about?

Motion Math: Wings is another movement-based math game from Motion Math, this one focused on multiplication skills. After a steering tutorial, kids choose an island to visit. Each level presents kids with two quantities at a time, like a four-by-four block or a problem like 13 x 10, and kids steer the bird to the larger quantity. Answer correctly, and your bird flies straight through; answer incorrectly, and you are bounced back and must try again.

Is it any good?

Like other apps from developer Motion Math, Motion Math: Wings combines gaming with math to help kids deepen their understanding of concepts in a fun way. Instead of rote drilling of multiplication facts, kids estimate and compare, then tilt their device to select the greater quantity. The different ways Motion Math: Wings presents problems are in line with how kids should be developing their strategies for estimation and multiplication and provide great visual cues. For example, kids can see that 4 x 5 can be solved by adding a line of 5 dots 4 times. The app has many levels of varying difficulty, allowing kids to build on the concepts through the same task. However, to get the full range, parents will need to buy additional levels.

In terms of the overall game, the less-than-intuitive menu navigation can be frustrating. And the rewards system (feathers to customize your bird) is not as clear as it could be. The app was also glitchy for us, and did not always save a player's progress; paying for the $7.99 upgraded version didn't solve the issues. Still, Motion Math: Wings is great in terms of the math content so it's worth it to give the initial free app a try.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Explain the differences between the six different visual representations of the multiplication problems.

  • Practice basic math and multiplication problems outside of the app.

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
  • Subjects: Math: estimation, grouping, multiplication
  • Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: strategy
  • Price: Free
  • Pricing structure: Free
  • Release date: June 5, 2012
  • Category: Education
  • Size: 21.10 MB
  • Publisher: Motion Math
  • Version: 1.2.2
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 4.3 or later
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

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